Handlock


Deck Playstyle

Out of the three Warlock recipe decks Handlock is the most expensive and best designed for archetype it represents. Core of your playstyle is 4 Giants an 2 Twilight Drakes which are way too strong for their cost when played right. So you are aiming to play a [Twilight Drake] or a [Mountain Giant] as early as possible and from that point onward control flow of the game. Tauntgivers and heal effects are supposed to help you survive long enough to play your Giants or to finish off your opponent if they are already on the board. Also, there is a lot of precise calculating when to use AoE board clears in this deck and how to prepare opponent’s board to maximize your chances to win.


Requirements

  1. Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
  2. First wing of Blackrock Mountain Adventure required for [Emperor Thaurissan]
  3. First wing of League of explorers needed for [Dark Peddler]
  4. Have 6450 Dust for crafting cards.


Card Explanations

Minions - 23 +

[Dark Peddler] × 2

  • Useful against early aggression, providing you with a solid option for every matchup for most of the time. As a bonus it helps to mislead opponent into thinking that he is playing against a Zoo deck, and that can force some misplays that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

[Ancient Watcher] × 2

  • Why do you want a creature that can’t attack in your deck? Well, it’s a 2 mana 4/5 and it can be taunted to protect, it can be silenced to attack, it can be Shadowflamed without a second thought. Not bad if you ask me.

[Sunfury Protector] × 2

  • Combined with heavy minions in this deck, makes it hard for enemies to get to your face. Low cost allows to play it along with something to give taunt to even on board clearing turns.

[Earthen Ring Farseer] × 2

  • All healing effects are appreciated by a Handlock. Its battlecry is never wasted, and a 3/3 body also is pretty cost-efficient.

[Big Game Hunter] × 1

  • In today’s meta there is pretty much always a suitable target for his battlecry. And everyone likes tempo advantage it provides.

[Defender of Argus] × 2

  • Faster decks tend to ignore Giants or Drakes, so you have to make them respect that serious firepower you packed in your deck. That card is used exactly for that reason.

[Refreshment Vendor] × 2

  • Another healing battlecry here, used instead of [Antique Healbot]. Heal is 4hp instead of 8hp, but it’s a 3/5 for 4 mana, which can help you prevent taking extra hits, so it’s a decent replacement.

[Spellbreaker] × 1

  • You can’t imagine a Handlock deck without a silence, can you?

[Twilight Drake] × 2

  • Powerful when played out of full hand, it can trade up to 3 to 1 with the same-cost minions. Even with a risk of being countered by Shaman’s [Earth Shock], or silenced by Druid’s [Keeper of the Grove], or dropped on board as a 4/1 by a [Deathlord], it is still better than consistent 4/5 like [Chillwind Yeti].

[Emperor Thaurissan] × 1

  • If you look at the design of the card, you’ll see a bullseye right on his forehead. That’s a hint that you always want to get rid of opponent’s Emperor before doing anything else. Because the second time he cheapens your hand, he generates too much value for your enemy to handle.

[Sylvanas Windrunner] × 1

  • A huge pain to decide how to play against, and that sweet combo with [Shadowflame] holds great comeback potential.

[Mountain Giant] × 2

  • Sometimes, if you play one of these early enough, your enemy is so busy dealing with this 8/8 monstrosity, he forgets that he was going to win the game.

[Molten Giant] × 2

  • Ultimate punishment for being careless and overconfident.

[Lord Jaraxxus] × 1

  • One thing I enjoy the most about [Lord Jaraxxus] is a surprise heal when you are at the death’s door. And that sick hero ability of his. And his attitude.
Spells - 7 +

[Soulfire] × 1

  • Since you would like to keep your hand around 8-9 cards, and even more so at the starting turns in games, [Soulfire] can be utilized as an emergency removal, but two copies of it is too much.

[Mortal Coil] × 2

  • Hold off overly aggressive enemies, while cycling your deck. Perfect.

[Hellfire] × 2

  • Most of your minions survive [Hellfire], so your greatest concern is damage it deals to your hero. But even that could benefit you if you use this opportunity to play [Molten Giant] or two.

[Shadowflame] × 1

  • Secondary AoE spell since it requires to sacrifice a minion, so it’s actually costs more than [Hellfire]. But you will find a use for it nonetheless.

[Siphon Soul] × 1

  • Single-target hard-removal spell with a healing effect. The only drawback is that you rarely get to play anything else on the same turn. So choose targets for it carefully.


Card Replacements

  • [Emperor Thaurissan] : [Master Jouster] has good synergy with the Giants and the rest of the deck.
  • [Sylvanas Windrunner]: [Cairne Bloodhoof] comes to mind or a [Sunwalker]
  • [Lord Jaraxxus]: You dare to replace Eredar Lord of the Burning Legion without suffering horrible consequences? Jokes aside, even amongst Legendaries only [Ysera] have somewhat similar game-reversing potential value. Try another [Frost Giant] or [North Sea Kraken] if you are going to be complete cheapskate.


Tech Decisions

vs Aggro

  • -1  [Sylvanas Windrunner] +1 [Acidic Swamp Ooze]

vs Control

  • -2  [Ancient Watcher] +1  [Frost Giant] +1 [Shadowflame]


Mulligan Guide

As a Handlock your primary mulligan target is to have Turn 4 play. That is either [Twilight Drake], which has permanent cost or [Mountain Giant], who’s cost vary depending on your hand size. Keep them in your starting hand along with any tauntgivers. It is also a must to keep at least one AoE spell present in your starting hand. [Hellfire] is a Turn 4 play too, sometimes one and only sensible. [Dark Peddler] early is mostly a trick play for Handlock, but can be a great asset in finding anti-aggro tech cards.

vs Aggro:
[Mortal Coil] is always to keep. In case you would be given those choices: [Molten Giant] is more desirable in those matchups than [Mountain Giant], [Sunfury Protector] is more convenient than [Defender of Argus], [Earthen Ring Farseer] better suits your curve than [Refreshment Vendor]. It is also good to have [Dark Peddler] or [Hellfire], but your starting hand space is limited. As a general rule try to estimate nature (spells or physical) and amount of potential damage to decide what cards you will or will not have time to play.

vs Control:
Your ideal starting hand in those matchups is a [Mountain Giant], [Twilight Drake] and [Dark Peddler] to scare enemy into thinking he is against badly mulliganed Zoo deck.

RATING: [rating-system-posts]

Difficulty: Hard
Crafting Cost:
6400 icon-dust
23 Minions - 7 Spells

Warlock Cards (10)
Mortal Coil × 2
Soulfire × 1
Dark Peddler × 2
Hellfire × 2
Shadowflame × 1
Siphon Soul × 1
Lord Jaraxxus × 1

Neutral Cards (20)
Ancient Watcher × 2
Sunfury Protector × 2
Big Game Hunter × 1
Earthen Ring Farseer × 2
Defender of Argus × 2
Refreshment Vendor × 2
Spellbreaker × 1
Twilight Drake × 2
Emperor Thaurissan × 1
Sylvanas Windrunner × 1
Mountain Giant × 2
Molten Giant × 2

Gameplay Videos